Awe deprivation

When was the last time you were awe-struck about something? I look around and everyone’s eyes are fixated on some type of screen. We are turned inward. Human interaction seems to be at an all-time low as people go about their own business, sometimes looking but rarely seeing the world around them. The mundane is overwhelming our lives.

I’ve come to believe that most people suffer from awe deprivation….people seem to be spending less and less time focusing on anything but themselves. Isolation from the pandemic isn’t helping. We are not connected anymore. And, it’s taking a collective toll on our mental health.

When we experience awe or sheer amazement about something, it’s an emotionally transcendence experience where we become overwhelmed to the point we alter our understanding of the world. It’s to sense the divine and eternity in what we see.

It gives us goosebumps.

Awe experiences stimulate wonder at the world around us. Unfortunately, what we should view as extraordinary, we dismiss as unimportant; what we see as miraculous, we rationalize with scientific explanations that destroy the mystery and wonder.

We’re so busy with our mundane lives, we miss the  beauty and splendor of God’s creation. We need to rediscover the child-like wonder of our world…for our own spiritual and mental health.

So how do we go about experiencing more awe?

  1. For one, let’s get out from behind our screens and into nature. Beach, mountains, forest….anywhere we can look listen, taste, touch and smell what’s around us. If nature isn’t an option, let’s immerse ourselves in art, literature or music. Anything that transcends our own abilities.
  2. Let’s take in the big picture but not forget to look at the small picture too. There is awe in the smallest details just as much as sweeping landscapes.
  3. Let’s slow down, be still and contemplate what we are experiencing. What does this experience tell us about life, our world, ourselves?

Psychologists have researched how awe affects us. These findings were published in Emotion and reveal that the wonder and reverence we experience in response to awe-some experiences can promote intellectual humility, reduce political polarization and help us feel more connected to humanity…which would do everyone good.

So, with this in mind, I’ve pulled some photos of my own experiences with sheer awe. Moments that transcended my perspective of this world. I hope they spark ideas on how you can combat awe-deprivation in your own life.

I’m not sure it’s possible to look at the Grand Canyon and not experience the sheer awesomeness of what unfolds in front of our eyes.

This sunrise over the ocean definitely gave me goosebumps. Add the sun’s rays from behind the clouds for extra bumps.

On my photo bucket list is to take a shot of the Milky Way. But until then, when I look up into the heavens, I’m filled with awe at the vastness of our universe and how miraculous it is that our planet is the only one in our galaxy that can support life as we know it.

As thrilling as it is to look outward and upward to find the extraordinary, I find awe in the smallest of details. When I stop and really consider the impact of bees and other insects, I’m humbled at their intricacies.

Having witnessed the birth of both of my grandchildren, I have to say that was an experience filled with awe and amazement. As a mother and having gone through childbirth (twice), it was different witnessing the miracle of giving life. When I stop and think about the intricacies and miraculous formation of  genes, memes, cells and DNA (the hereditary code of life), it is mind blowing how it all comes together in  perfect unison.

Awe deprivation robs us from feeling connected to something larger than ourselves. Call it faith in a Creator or call it spirituality, the effect is the same. Experiencing awe humbles us and allows us to put everything into perspective. We live in a creation that offers awe at every turn.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. ~Romans 1:20

It was when I was happiest that I longed most…The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing…to find the place where all the beauty came from. ~CS Lewis

And we really cannot adequately do that sitting in front of a screen.

Linking up today with Sandee over at Comedy Plus for Awwww  Monday with a little different take on the word, Awwww.


10 thoughts on “Awe deprivation

  1. This is the best Awww Monday post today. You’re so right. We’ve not fallen into the despair that many have and refuse to do so. You’ve nailed all things one can do to climb out of that despair. Beautiful post.

    Thank you for joining the Awww Mondays Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Awww Monday and week, Lisa. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa, everything you shared here is so spot on. And with all political polarization that’s been going on in our country lately, also VERY timely. There has been so much intentional political distraction, that it’s been blinding us from seeing all the things we have in common and bring us together, such as all the beautiful things right in front of our faces.

    And it’s so ironic you posted on this topic because I’ve been thinking about these same things. For the past three days I’ve been outside enjoy our fall foliage and feeling so incredibly grateful for something basic, yet so often taken for granted, such as my “eyesight” to SEE the awesome beauty of our fall foliage. In fact, I sat down on one of our park benches and quietly said, “Thank you…thank you for my ability to enjoy what I’m seeing.” And I say the same thing whenever I’m listening to a beautiful piece of music; grateful for my ability to hear.

    “Let’s take in the big picture but not forget to look at the small picture too. There is awe in the smallest details just as much as sweeping landscapes.”

    A-MEN! And it’s “in” the small pictures that we see the BIG picture.

    Thank you so very, very much for sharing this today because it’s very, very much needed. And your photographs are AWE-some!!!!! I especially love the ones of the moon. Incredible captures!

    Grateful for our friendship! X

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You may be right. Although when I go to the backyard and the moon is particularly close and full every few months, that’s kind of awesome. And I never plan for it – don’t know when the next full moon will be, e.g.s

    Liked by 1 person

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